Dream CatcherA 49’ Grand Banks Classic
Operating ManualEdition of July 8, 2016
Copyrighted. See notice next page
1 Introduction & General Description
2 Important Vessel Numbers
3 Operating Checklists & Maneuvering Suggestions
4 Specific Discussion of Boat Systems
5 “What to Do” for Some Specific Concerns
6 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
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This notice is a part of this manual, and is placed here to warn
you as an owner, crew member or passenger on this vessel that the
author of this manual assumes no responsibility for any errors or
omissions herein, and represents only that the writings and
illustrations herein represent his “best efforts” to provide a
comprehensive overview of the vessel, so that it can be operated by
a person who has the necessary experience and/or training to
operate such a vessel given the additional information herein.
You should be aware that this operating manual is provided as a
convenience to the owner(s), crew members and passengers on this
vessel, and is not complete in every detail. Given the complexity
of this boat and its systems, there is no way that all conditions,
contingencies, and operating details can be covered, both because
of space limitations and because of ordinary oversight as
contingencies are speculated upon by the author. Likewise, it is
possible either through oversight and/or changes in the vessel as a
result of additions, modifications, or deletions to or of equipment
since publication of this manual, that items discussed will operate
differently than described, be absent from the vessel, or be added
to the vessel without discussion in this volume.
As a vessel owner, crew member or passenger on this vessel, you
are here at your own risk, and the author of this manual has no
responsibility for your actions whatsoever. If you do not feel
competent to undertake any or all operations detailed herein, do
not undertake it/them; get help from a competent person.
I thank you, (and my lawyer thanks you.)
Joseph D. Coons
Copyright 2011 Joseph D. Coons
This manual was written for this boat’s owner and it’s charter
company by Joseph D. Coons, 1220
Birch Falls Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229, tel (360) 647-0288. All
rights reserved. This manual may not be quoted, copied, or
duplicated, in whole or in part, in printed or electronic form,
without express written consent from the author.
About the Author
Joe Coons is a retired AM-FM broadcasting station owner and
computer systems corporate executive who throughout his life was
involved in communications and mechanical, electrical, and
electronic systems. He cruised his own boat on the
Hudson River and Lake Champlain when a teen and in his early
twenties, and during the 70’s and 80’s accumulated some 2,500 hours
as an instrument-rated private pilot. Beginning in 1986 he became
seriously involved in boating as a boat
owner, subsequently working in a “retirement career” as a
broker, also commissioning vessels, operating a charter fleet,
checking out boat charterers, and training new power boaters. He
has held a 50-ton Coast Guard Master’s license, and
operated his own boats and a substantial number of others from
26 to 70 feet in the near-coastal waters of Washington State,
British Columbia, and Alaska. His “helm time” exceeds 8,000 hours.
In addition, he has trained hundreds of boaters
in the skills of vessel operation.
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Section 1: Introduction & General Boat1A: About This
1A1: Manual Objective and Limitations
This manual is intended to introduce you to “Dream Catcher”, its
systems, and features, allowing you to operate it with the
confidence and self-assurance necessary to enjoy your cruising
vacation to its fullest. It is not intended to replace a basic
understanding of seamanship, including navigation skills, weather
interpretation or boat handling. You are expected to have an
understanding of these subjects obtained through other sources,
including training, seminars, reading and perhaps most important,
There is no way that a small manual like this one can answer
every question or give you a solution to every circumstance,
foreseen or unforeseen. If you have a question which limits your
understanding or handling of this vessel, ask the owner, a
specialist, or contact the Jet- Tern Marine/Grand Banks company
offices for details (you might make a list of questions as you read
the manual, saving them all up to ask at one time).
1A2: How the Manual is Organized
The manual is divided into six sections numbered “1” to “6” plus
an index (Section 7). Within each section are subsections lettered
“A” to “Z” as required.
In section 4, which deals with the specific information about
the vessel’s equipment and systems, the manual is organized by
major categories, such as “Anchor”, “Dinghy, Davit & Outboard”,
“Fresh Water System”, etc.
Note that within “Electrical Systems” are the “AC Electrical
System” and “DC Electrical System” as sub-categories, and within
them are such items that are a part of each, such as “Inverter”,
“Generator”, etc.; Likewise, all electronic equipment is in the
A complete index is at the back of the manual in Section 7.
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1B: General Description of this Vessel
Flybridge, Cockpit, Side & Forward DecksThe Grand Banks 49’
Classic is a traditional yacht design, with fiberglass hull, cabin,
and flybridge structures, a teak swim step, teak decks, gunwale
caps, and teak and stainless steel welded fittings and handrails.
The windows, for the most part, are sliding glass panes. Of
particular note are the easy walk-around decks, enabling safe,
secure passage about the boat by the crew. There is a roomy cockpit
section with ample storage in the lazarette beneath, and on the
side decks are the two fuel fills, the water tank fill, and the two
waste pumpout locations.
Forward on the bow deck is the anchor windlass with foot
switches allowing chain movement both ”up” and ”down” electrically.
The anchor is retracted into the bow pulpit, which hangs out over
the bow to give good chain clearance from the hull; this pulpit is
strong and braced, easily supporting not only the anchor during
hauling, but also an attending crew member if necessary. After
passing over the winch, the chain goes below decks into the chain
There are shore power connections at the stern and bow with
adjacent fuse holders. A shore power switch in the electric panel
selects these. (When this cable is to be disconnected, the switch
should first be turned OFF to avoid arcing, which could damage the
plug contacts.) The boat’s 50-amp shore power cable is 50 feet
long; an extra 30-amp cable is also supplied.
A bow locker stores the anchor bridle, windlass emergency
handle, and spare lines.
A portion of the cockpit.
The anchor windless on the bow. Shore power cable is
Looking in the Lazarette.
Stern shore power inlets.
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The aft cabin supports the dinghy on the starboard side.
Tie-down straps hold the dinghy in place. The dinghy is lifted with
an electric hoist from a strong davit with a windlass controlled by
a plug-in remote control.
Up five steps from the deck is the flybridge, with seating for
crew and passengers in two tandem seats, each seating four
passengers (for a total of eight); both have storage beneath.
Within the port storage compartment is the galley propane tank and
spare tank. To starboard, you will find extra life jackets.
Forward is a console holding atop it the flybridge electronics
and within it, substantial storage for canvas, and/or seat cushions
to port, and the upper helm station to starboard. In addition to
instruments and controls, the console has a sliding door revealing
more electronics, including a large fold-out radar console. On the
aft end of the flybridge to port is a large Igloo cooler for extra
The flybridge console has a full complement of instruments
including navigation, communications, and engine controls.
The aft cabin top with the dinghy, its motor. Notice the
Looking to starboard on the flybridge. Above the wheel are the
engine controls, compass, and to the wheel’s right are engine
To port, tandem seating for passengers and access to the storage
area under the console.
The control console has helm and engine instrument to starboard,
depth sounder, fish finder, and Navnet displays above,
and the VHF radio, large radar (white panel tips out), autopilot
control, hailer and heating controls behind a sliding door.
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1B2: Salon & Helm
Main DeckThe boat is entered by side doors, port or starboard.
These doors are fitted with deadbolt locks, and in addition have
stainless catches affixed to the cabin sides to hold them open. The
”hold-open catches” should be engaged manually, not just by
”slamming the doors open” to avoid damage to the catches by
bending, or the doors by banging. The doors should be closed when
underway except at very low speeds in calm waters to avoid getting
salt water inside.
Salon:Forward of the starboard door is the helm station with
electric switch panels adjacent on the starboard side, electronics
panel above with warning lights, windshield wiper switches, speed
log and depth sounder, etc. On the helm is the ship’s radar;
computer with Coastal Navigator plotting and wireless mouse; NavNet
display, etc. [Note: Storage for charts is in the plastic tubs in
master stateroom port side hanging locker; chart books, tide tables
and sailing directions are in the chart drawer under the port side
on the Master Stateroom berth.]
Looking forward to starboard in the salon.
Salon, aft to starboard. Note large table with fold-up leaves
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Aft of the helm is a cabinet with a dry bar, drawer, locker, and
an icemaker. The locker to right of the icemaker holds the flares,
first aid kit, spotlight (with charging adapter) and davit control
Please feel free to use what you need from this first aid kit.
It is on the honor system. If you need it, use it. If you deplete
an item’s supply, please make sure you replace it or notify us at
the end of the cruise so we can replace it for the next time it is
Further aft to starboard in the salon is a large L-settee
[picture on preceding page] with a table in front that has leaves
allowing it to easily seat six for meals. At the aft end of the
settee to midships, a cabinet holds the stereo AM-FM radio and
To port aft in the salon are the doorway to the Master
Stateroom; a storage cabinet; the port-side entry door; a cabinet
with numerous drawers and shelves for galley items, the TV and
DVD/CD player; and the back side of the galley “L”’s cabinets.
The aft salon cabinet. The davit cable is stored in one of the
Forward face of cabinet just aft of the salon helm. Note
icemaker, cabinets and drawers.
Wine cabinet is in the top.
Port aft of salon. (TV & DVD are now located here.)
A helm cabinet stores various manuals, navigation tools, and
needed by skippers and navigators.
A look at the lower helm station.
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Galley:Forward of the port-side salon cabinet and settee is the
galley. The galley has an propane stove/oven, a large stainless
sink; a deepfreeze, a refrigerator; and a large microwave.
There is extensive storage under and over the galley counters,
and additional storage is under hatches in the #2 guest stateroom
the cabin floor. The compartment under the counter beneath the
windshield on the port side forward of the stove is for dish
storage. The under-seat cabinets on the flybridge also can be used
for food if desired.
Galley: Fridge to left of drawers; deep freeze access is in left
ell of counter or back side.
This entire surface to right of the stove lifts for copious
Upper galley cabinets.
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1B3: Passenger Accommodations
Both the forward and aft cabins are down several steps below the
salon. The VIP Guest and
#2 Guest cabins and head compartment are forward, while the
Master Stateroom and its head compartment is aft.
Master StateroomThe aft (master) stateroom is down a few steps
in the aft end of the salon.
This master stateroom features a queen-sized island berth,
beneath which are drawers including a spacious and efficient chart
drawer. To each side of the berth are tables with cabinets beneath,
as well as storage lining the vessel’s exterior walls on each side.
A vanity/desk is aft to port beneath the emergency exit hatch.
There is a fire extinguisher and flashlight mounted above the port
cabinets by the hanging locker.
Forward to port in the aft cabin is a huge hanging locker for
Master Stateroom Head CompartmentForward to starboard in this
stateroom is a head compartment with toilet and level indicator for
the starboard holding tank, a sink/vanity, numerous cabinets and
drawers, and the stall shower. There are switches to turn the fan
on for the heating system for the outlets in the head and shower,
as well as switches for the shower drain and electric head. You
will also find ample storage space for your toiletries and extra
towels, etc. in the head.
Master stateroom, looking aft to starboard.
Master S/R, looking aft to port. Note emergency hatch above bed
table. Note drawers on both sides of the berth and corner desk!
An emergency ladder is in the “drawer” under the hatch.
This view shows, to right, the hanging locker doors.
Across from the sink is a roomy shower compartment.
Far right: Peeking into the head compartment.
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VIP Guest S/RAll the way forward, the bow guest stateroom
includes two large V-berths. Storage includes plenty of drawers,
cabinets and hanging locker space for crew clothing. A large
overhead hatch and side opening windows provide plenty of light and
ventilation in this spacious cabin. When first getting acquainted
with the boat, take the time to put the ladder that’s behind the
door in place so you can see how to use the overhead hatch as an
exit. Also note the fire extinguisher and flashlight beside the
Guest Stateroom #2The starboard guest cabin, down the steps and
just forward of the lower helm station (just aft of the VIP guest
stateroom) has two single berths, with a hanging locker between.
There are drawers beneath each berth.
Windows as well as a large overhead hatch provide lots of light
in this cabin.
In the floor between the berths there is a storage compartment
with a drain sump for the washing machine.
Guest HeadMoving aft from the forward stateroom to port is the
forward head compartment with its own stall shower, electric head,
tank level indicator for the forward holding tank, and a basin with
vanity; we like to leave the hatch open slightly all the time when
not underway for ventilation. You will also find the switches for
the electric head by the sink. The shower sump switch is located
next to the laundry sink in the engine room. The breaker for this
switch on the electrical panel and is labeled “Keel Pump
If you have a cool morning, be sure to turn the fan switch on in
the head as heat will be provided if the furnace main switch is on
and any thermostat calls for heat.
The sumptuous forward V-Berth has a cushioned insert to make it
A chest of drawers is to stbd of the V-Berth; a
hanging locker is to port.
This view of one of the #2 Stateroom guest berths also shows the
edge of the
roomy hanging locker.
A look inside the guest head. There is a shower compartment here
Mid-stateroom shower pump switch in engine room next to laundry
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1B4: Engine Room & Utility Room
Preferred access to the engine room is through either the floor
hatch by the helm seat in the salon leading directly to the Engine
Room, or by going forward and lifting the stairs at the aft end of
the companionway, which will lead you through the utility room
first. AC and DC breakers in the ship’s power panels turn on the
lighting for both; with the AC breaker on, the AC lights are
controlled by a switch under the forward, starboard corner of the
hatch. The rooms have full stand-up height to access all engines
Note: If you are going to be in the engine room a long time, use
the under-stair access and leave the hatch down to prevent falling
Assuming you enter from the companionway, you will pass through
the Utility Room. To starboard is a small sink, then the Washer and
Dryer. On the opposite wall there is a cabinet for supply storage.
On the aft wall a door leads to the engine room.
In the engine room, as you proceed aft, you will see the forward
bulkhead ladder from the salon hatch with an AC outlet immediately
to starboard of it; a handheld fire extinguisher, and the wiring
interconnection panel, under which is the horn air compressor and a
connection for an air hose (stored in the 20kw generator
compartment). On the wall is the starboard engine’s coolant
expansion tank, and below it are that engine’s seawater strainer.
Moving aft from the wiring panel are “black boxes” for the
electronics, the dinghy davit main switch (normally “ON”) and then
the boat’s NewMar battery charger. Mounted on the floor outboard of
the engine is the 8KW, first of two, Westerbeke generator; just
above and aft of is an air conditioning air handler.
On the aft bulkhead of the engine room, to starboard, is the
sight tube showing the fuel level in the starboard tank, and by it,
and engine room exhaust fan. Just inboard of these is the “room”
that houses the 20KW, second, Westerbeke Generator and the two
small batteries, one each used to start each Westerbeke.
Below the generator room is a worktable, and below it are the
fuel manifold and a number of thru-hulls/sea strainers for the air
conditioning cooling water, the generators’ cooling; and salt water
wash-down water. A large electric pump provides air conditioning
water. Mounted on the bulkhead itself are several battery main
on-off switches for the starting and propulsion batteries, all
clearly marked. Also on the wall under the table is the fuel
The salon floor engine room hatch. Note strap to hold it open.
prefer entering by the forward stairs.
Looking down the E/R companionway steps
The laundry sink.
The electric washer in the Utility Room.
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At the aft end of each engine is its transmission, with the
shafts exiting the hull through PSS dripless shaft seals. Morse
control cables control the reverse gears. Alongside and inboard of
each engine are the primary fuel filters. (Each engine has a
secondary fuel filter, and lubricating oil filters, mounted
directly upon it.)
Aft of the port engine, a switch labeled “PARALLEL” is used only
in the event a start battery is dead (it combines starting and
house batteries, and should very seldom, if ever, be needed. Be
sure to start a generator and have the chargers and inverter
running first before turning it on! As soon as the engine starts,
return the switch to “OFF”.
On the port hull side shelf are the refrigeration and air
conditioning compressors, the Invertor with a battery disconnect
immediately below it, and the McCarron charger. Beneath the shelf
the large red tank is the heating system expansion tank. Forward of
these are another outlet, the heating system circulating water
manifold and valves, and the furnace itself alongside the Utility
Forward of the port engine is its coolant expansion tank, its
sea strainer/thru hull, and the built-in engine fire extinguishing
system. A hose with fresh water faucet attached is also here.
The boat is equipped with a 10 foot-6 inch Achilles tender which
is a rigid-Hull, inflatable-pontoon boat and is fitted with a
Yamaha 15hp four-cycle electric start outboard motor and portable
1B6: Deck Equipment
The boat has mooring lines (extra are in the box locker); a
stern/shore line at least 300’ long in the lazarette; main anchor
with all-chain rode on the bow pulpit; emergency anchor with chain
& line rode in the lazarette; fenders/bumpers; a hose for fresh
water tank filling and boat washing in the lazarette; and a boat
hook stored on the side rail.
Another view of Dreamcatcher’s dinghy.
The bow locker. The stainless loops on each side hold fenders
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1B7: Boarding Ladder, Swim Step
The boat has a teak swim step at its aft end. This step is
fitted with a sturdy, rugged swim ladder. To lower the ladder
(which slides up and down), slide it up, swing the retaining lever
out of the way, then lower it carefully. To raise the ladder, lift
it until it is high enough for the latching posts to clear its
catches, and swing it back under the posts.
1B8: Safety Equipment
AnchorsThere is a permanently-rigged anchor on the bow pulpit
and a spare anchor with an anchor rode in the lazarette
Fire ExtinguishersHandheld units are in the forward and aft
stateroom, by the starboard salon door, and in the engine room.
There is an automatic fixed system in the engine room, also fitted
with a remote control on the aft face of the cabinet adjacent to
the port salon door to the side deck.
First Aid KitIt is in the salon in the cabinet to right of the
ice maker. Another is with common first aid items is in a tool-box
type container in the midships cabin.
FlaresIn the salon in the cabinet to right of the ice maker.
Life Preservers/PFD’sThere are life vests in the cabin hanging
lockers and under the flybridge starboard seat.
Life RaftDream Catcher is fitted with an emergency life raft. It
is housed in a canister on the sun deck adjacent to the steps from
the side deck.
Pumps, BilgeTwo electric automatic (controls in the upper DC
breaker panel) plus one manual in the salon.
VHF RadiosThere are VHF’s at each helm station, plus two
1B9: Detailed Manuals
Operating manuals for the electronics are in the starboard
cabinet above the lower
helm station; technical and detailed operating manuals for the
rest of the ship’s equipment are in plastic tubs in the lower
cabinets to starboard in the Master Stateroom.
Swim ladder. Arrow points to latching mechanism.
Engine room extinguisher remote activation control.
Salon fire extinguisher.
Emergency Life Raft
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Section 2: Important Vessel NumbersVessel Name Dream
CatcherVessel Official Number 699247 (This number is on the side of
the hull in the port lazarette.)Hull ID Number
Sleeps six: Two in each stateroomFuel: 1000 Gallons in two 500
gallon tanksFresh water: 500 Gallons in two tanksHolding Tank: 70
Gallons in two tanks
DimensionsLength Waterline: 48 feet 9 inchesLength Overall: 50
feet 6 inchesBeam: 15 Feet 5 InchesDraft: 5 Feet 1
inchesDisplacement: Est. 71,000 pounds full load
FluidsMotor Fuel: #2 DieselMotor Oil, mains: 15W-40 Chevron Delo
MultigradeTransmission Oil: 30-weight Chevron DeloEngine Coolant:
50-50 mix, ethylene glycol & water; corrosion inhibitor
Operating Parameters (Estimated):
RPM Speed Fuel Consumption Naut. Miles/Gallon
1200 6.0 Knots 3.5 GPH 1.72
1500 7.5 5.0 GPH 1.50
1800 10.0 8.5 GPH 1.17
2000 10.5 12.0 GPH .88
2400 11.5 16.5 GPH .70
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Section 3: Checklists & Maneuvering Suggestions3A:Operating
Checklists - Dream Catcher
First Thing Each Day• Check engine oil, coolant.• Check
under-engine oil pads. Okay?• Check fuel tank levels• Check holding
tank indicators. Need pumping?• Turn off anchor light if
Starting Engines• All lines clear of propeller and on deck.•
Items running on AC evaluated vis-a-vis the Inverter and Generator
(page 28).• Battery selector switch remains “On”• Throttles at
idle, shift levers in “neutral”• Appropriate DC breakers (including
Engine “Stop”) “On”.• Engine breakers “On” in turn• Push start
buttons in turn• If an engine does not turn over, see “What to Do
Leaving Dock (Only 3-4 minute engine warmup required!)• Shore
power switch “Off”.• Shore power cord removed, stowed on board.•
Step stool aboard, if used.• Fenders hauled aboard and stowed.•
Lines and other deck gear secure/stowed.• Doors and hatches,
acrylic panels closed and secured as appropriate.
Underway• Helmsperson on watch at all times. • Synchronizer
“On”.• RPMs under 1400 until engines warm to 140°; RPM never to
exceed 2400 RPM.• Wake effects always in mind.
Approaching Dock• Fenders out on appropriate side.• Synchronizer
“Off”.• Bow line OUTSIDE stanchions and bloused around toward
midships.• Engines dead slow.• Mate ready to secure stern first (in
16 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
Arriving at Dock in Marina• Lines secure, including spring
lines.• Step stool out, if needed.• Water heater breaker off until
Inverter current settles (see “Inverters” below).• Shore power cord
connected, AC Power Selector to “Shore”, Shore Power Selector to
power cord location.• Shore power confirmed on meter, Inverter
“On”.• Electric use monitored for current capacity of shore
Arriving at Mooring Buoy• Skipper puts starboard end of swim
step, with mate on it, next to buoy.• Mate loops 20’ or so line,
such as bow line, through buoy ring.• Mate holds two ends together,
walks up side of boat to bow of boat.• With buoy held close to bow,
line secured to each bow cleat through hawsepipe.
Mooring at Anchor• Anchor is lowered from pulpit while boat is
backed up slowly away from anchor.• When desired chain length out
(4:1 or 5:1 scope), windlass is stopped.• Engine reversed for
“count of five” until chain pulls up virtually straight. Note: The
boat is not held in reverse
against a taught anchor chain!
Generator Starting/Stopping (either generator)• Hold “Preheat”
switch for 10-20 seconds, then while holding...• Hold “Start”
switch until it starts (if it does not start, repeat “preheat”
step)• Continue holding the pre-heat switch for 2-3 seconds• Check
outside exhaust for water flow.• After one minute for warmup, turn
Generator Selector from “Off” to “8KW” or “20KW” and the AC
Selector to “Gen”• Stopping: Turn power selector from “Gen” to
“Off”, wait 1 minute for cool-down.• Hold “Stop” switch until
Overnight Checklist in Marina• Shore power “On”.• Inverter
“On”.• If air cond. or dryer is to be used, you may need generator.
Review page 28.
Overnight at Anchor or Buoy• Anchor light “On”.• DC electrical
items all “Off” including radios, extra lights, etc.
Upon Arising• If at anchor or buoy, Inverter only “On” if
necessary.• Start a generator if necessary for battery charging or
air conditioning or dryer• Inverter “On” if shore power available
or generator running.• Turn on heat if necessary.• Go to top of
this Dream Catcher checklist.
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3B: Maneuvering Suggestions
3B1: Docking & Undocking
Because of its substantial weight, this boat is predictable!
Take advantage of its momentum/inertia: you will find that if you
maneuver slowly and thoughtfully you can maintain control at all
Before undertaking docking in a “tight” space, practice with the
boat in open but protected water to get the “feel” of the boat.
Don’t let the skipper’s ego get in the way of safe operation, and
remember, if the slip is too tight you can always dock somewhere
else! And don’t forget the boat’s overall length is over 50 feet!
Operating from the flybridge is usually best until you are very
familiar with the boat because of its much better visibility.
You should usually dock “bow in”; remember, the stern is what is
turned by the rudder or engines, so you should “point the bow where
you want it” when entering a slip, then swing the stern as
Remember, too, that the rudder is normally effective only when
the prop is going forward. Use the engines only to steer in a
harbor, not the rudders except when extreme wind conditions require
Anchoring can be accomplished safely with a minimum of fuss if
you are prepared. Or, if you are not ready, it can be stressful and
dangerous for you or the boat.
Before attempting to anchor, select an anchorage with a soft
bottom such as sand, mud, or gravel, if possible. Look at the
charts and cruising guides for tips on good locations. Then, choose
the spot in the anchorage where you have room to “swing” on the
anchor without disturbing other boats. Remember, responsibility for
leaving room goes to each successive boat to arrive, for the first
boat has priority in the anchorage!
Here in the Northwest, because of the deep waters, all-chain
rodes and small bays, we anchor a little differently than in the
Gulf of Mexico or Carribean, for example. First, except in severe
weather we use anchor chain scopes of only 4-to-1 or 5-to-1. For
example, in water that is 40 feet at low tide in the typical
anchorage, we might use 160 feet of chain unless the weather was to
be gale force or greater winds.
Second, because of the small bays and steep bottoms, we often
rig a shore line from the stern of the boat to shore. The best
example of this would be at Todd Inlet at Butchart Gardens: Here is
a bay that can accommodate 8 - 10 boats, yet it is only about 150’
wide and 200’ long! Boats attach their bows to the mooring buoys
or, in a few cases, anchor; and then their sterns are secured to
rings provided in the steep cliffs overlooking the bay. Boats are
thus perhaps only 15-20’ apart, side to side.
Third, boats often will “raft” side by side in busy marinas,
although this is not very common.
Fourth, courteous boaters will call vessels coming into busy
bays and offer to let them raft to the same buoy, if signs on the
buoys do not limit usage to only one boat depending upon
Anchoring safely requires two persons, one at the helm
maneuvering the boat and one on the bow operating the anchor.
Putting the bow of the boat over the spot where the anchor is to be
placed after checking the depth on the depth sounder, the windlass
foot-switches are used to lower the anchor slowly toward (but not
onto) the bottom, by watching the chain markings. The chain is 400’
long, marked as follows:
10’ Red-Yellow-Red Stripe50’ Yellow Stripe 100’ Red Stripe150’
Yellow Stripe 200’ Red Stripe250’ Yellow Stripe 300’ Red Stripe350’
Yellow Strip 375’ Red-Yellow-Red
18 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
When the anchor is about to reach bottom, the boat is backed
away by putting the engines into reverse for 5 seconds: eddies from
the chain indicate motion. Resume lowering the anchor while
drifting backwards (watch the eddies and add another burst or
reverse if necessary!) until the desired amount of chain is out.
Stop paying out chain. Engage reverse for five seconds at a time
until the chain starts to pull straight off the bow toward the
anchor. A straight chain indicates a “set” anchor!
NEVER pull on the chain for more than five seconds, and never at
any engine RPM other than idle! Putting the boat’s weight plus its
horsepower on the chain forcefully even at idle will bend the
anchor and/or damage the mooring gear!
If while checking the set, the chain rumbles and clunks, and
seems to release in bursts, it means you’re anchoring on a rocky
bottom and the anchor is not holding. Be patient: it may not set on
the first try, and you’ll have to repeat the process sometimes to
get a good “set”.
3B4: Shore Lines
When a shore line is required, anchors are set 75 - 100 feet
from shore, with the boat backing toward shore during
anchor-setting. The stern line is put around a tree, and brought
back to the boat. During this process, be sure to keep clear of
rocks near the shore, and allow for our Northwest tides,
occasionally twelve feet, and sometimes 20 feet when further north!
Check the present tide, and high and low tides before beginning
anchoring: No sense anchoring in 15 feet of water if you’re at the
“top” of a 15 foot tide!
To get to the shore, you will need to have a dinghy down, and
then have your mate keep the boat’s stern toward shore with short
bursts of reverse gear. Sometimes a helpful boater already anchored
will help you by taking your line to shore for you with his dinghy,
a neat “good deed” that you might reciprocate. We’ve met some nice
boaters this way!
The shore line is in the lazarette, and is long enough to
usually allow taking it to a tree, around it, and back to the boat
so you don’t have to go ashore to untie when leaving. With a crew
member keeping the boat in position, take the dinghy to shore
pulling the end of the shore line with you. Pass it around a tree,
and pull it back to the boat if you can, since then to get away in
the morning all you have to do is release the bitter end from the
boat, and pull it aboard. Pull the line tight, as long as you’ve
got over 100’ total of line out: there is plenty of sag/stretch,
and we want to keep the boat in its area! If necessary, put a crab
pot float or fender on the line to warn others it’s there!
Here is a sketch of a properly anchored boat with a shore line
(In this drawing, S=Scope, which should be at least 4 x DH, the
Depth at High Tide):
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 19
Section 4: Specific Boat Systems & OperationsThis section of
the operating manual will discuss each of the boat’s systems. The
systems and major components discussed are in alphabetical order as
4A: Anchor & Ground Tackle4B: Barbeque4C: Bilge Blowers4D:
Bilge Pumps4E: Dinghy, Davit & Outboard4F: Electrical Systems,
AC4G: Electrical System, DC4H: Electronics4J: Engines, Synchronizer
4K: Fresh & Waste Water Systems4L: Fuel System4M:
Furnace/Air Conditioning4N: Galley & Appliances4P: Head
Systems4Q: Running Gear (Props, Shafts, Syncronizer)4R: Safety
Equipment, Wipers, W/S Washer4S: Sea Strainers & Thru Hulls
4A: Anchor & Ground Tackle
4A1: Anchor Bridle
There is an anchor bridle stowed on the boat in the forward deck
storage box. Use it when anchoring overnight, as it accomplishes
• It takes the strain of the anchor off the windlass, pulpit,
and pulpit pulley and directs it to the bow cleats which are more
suited to hold it;
• It reduces substantially the “chain noise” transmitted to the
occupants of the forward cabin;• It allows the anchor rode to have
a lower angle relative to the sea bottom, thus increasing the
power. To use the bridle:
• Lower the anchor normally (see page 20) then, after it is
set,• Hook the bridle on the chain just in front of the anchor
pulpit bow roller;• Then secure the bridle rope ends through the
side-coaming hawse pipes, to the bow cleat on each side so the
bridle lines are equal in length and as long as possible;• Last,
operate the windlass to pay out anchor chain so the chain slacks
and is supported by the bridle, the chain
forming a loop right in front of the boat’s bow. If you wish,
you can pay out additional chain to form a long hanging loop
between the boat and bridle, which weights the chain down in front
of the boat well below its normal path; thus the chain itself
becomes a “kellet” or “sentinel”, lowering the chain angle more
than the bridle alone. The weight “drooping” the chain down like
this then forms a an even more effective “snubber”, so the boat is
gently held against the pressures if wind and tide.
20 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
4A2: Anchor Chain Locker & Anchor Jams
Anchor Handling:The anchor is forward on the bow pulpit, raised
and lowered by the electric windlass. The chain goes then into the
chain locker through the chain pipe behind the chain wheel
(“wildcat”). From here, the chain goes into a compartment just
forward of the bow locker.
Be careful when using ths equipment! If a crew member is
operating the windlass keep fingers, hands, arms, etc. away from
Use the foredeck foot switches, not the helm switch, so you can
see where the chain is going and be sure it is clear of the boat
properly when raising or lowering the anchor!
Lowering anchor:The windlass does not force the anchor to lower,
it only brakes its fall! If the chain jams while lowering anchor,
it is because one loop of the chain on top of the pile has fallen
inside another loop of chain when the chain may have shifted. There
is no way the chain can be tangled; do not ever need to disconnect
it! One way to disentangle the chain is, while wearing gloves,
grasp the chain on the forward side of the windlass, and, while
lifting it above the wildcat manually, rapidly yank it up and down.
This will usually free it. If this “yanking” technique fails, look
into the chain locker to un-overlap the layers of chain in the
Hauling anchor:The anchor is both raised and lowered by the
windlass. The chain goes from the windlass below into the chain
locker through the chain pipe behind the chain wheel
It is a reality that anchor chains often stack in a perfect cone
when being hauled in, and the top of the cone then may block the
entry pipe (hawse pipe) so the full chain cannot be hauled.
Therefore, it is a good thing when the cone-stack falls over, so
more can be put into the chain locker. You may have to send a crew
member to the forward stateroom to open the chain locker and
actually knock the chain over as it is being brought in!
Be careful when dealing with the chain! Be especially careful to
keep fingers, hands, arms, etc. away from the chain! Use a windlass
handle or broomstick to deal with the chain without fingers or
hands near it or the windlass.
4A3: Anchor Chain Measurement
The chain is measured by marks on the chain. The markings are as
10’ Red-Yellow-Red Stripe50’ Yellow Stripe 100’ Red Stripe150’
Yellow Stripe 200’ Red Stripe250’ Yellow Stripe 300’ Red Stripe350’
Yellow Strip 375’ Red-Yellow-Red
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 21
4A4: Anchor Windlass
The anchor on Dream Catcher is raised and lowered by a Lofrans
Tigres Windlass on the bow pulpit. The windlass is controlled by
foot switches at the bow. The control circuit breaker for the
windlass is on the windlass breaker panel on the starboard side of
trhe salon helm console. The windlass raises/lowers the anchor. A
large handwheel is the brake.
If the windlass should fail to operate when its foot switches
are operated, trouble-shoot as follows:
• Be sure the windlass breaker and switch are “on”;• If the
breaker/switch was on, try the manual up/down switch at either helm
works, use these switches instead of the foot switches until the
foot switches are repaired);
• If the manual switches don’t work, you can quickly determine
if the windlass itself has failed: Remove the back cover from the
windlass and, with a voltmeter, check to see if while a switch is
depressed, there is DC voltage on it’s terminals; if not, check the
actual wires themselves where they connect to the windlass, for the
windlass uses so much current that sometime the connect — though it
appears tight — may have failed. If there is voltage on the wires,
tighten the nuts firmly on the terminals.
Windlass panel by lower helm. (This also feeds the
dinghy davit windlass!)
Ratcheting collar.I nsert bar in this hole. (Collar can be
rotated by hand to usable position.)
Motor Clutch.Insert handle to loosen; then further
tighten/loosen by hand.
• If all this fails, use the manual cog to engage the teeth on
the windlass to keep the wildcat from letting out chain while you
loosen the clutch on the starboard side of the windlass. Then put
the handle in the collar on the left side, and “ratchet” the
windlass up with the handle, tightening the clutch after each lift
to keep the chain from slipping back.
4A5: Anchoring & Stern/Shore Line: See Section 3B.
22 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
4B: BarbequeDream Catcher carries a propane barbecue which
mounts on the port side sundeck handrail near the steps from the
port side deck. Its tank is nearby on the railing.
To operate the barbecue:
1. Be sure the propane tank valve is on;2. Turn the valve to the
right of the grill to “High”3. Press the igniter button or use a
“propane match” to light the grill.
4C: Bilge BlowersThe boat has bilge blowers controlled by
“engine room fan” breakers in the AC panel at the lower helm. These
blowers are not generally needed in the cool Northwest; they would
be used in hot weather such as in southern latitudes, or to
moderately cool the engine room when an operator has to be in it
when the engines are, or have been recently running.
4D: Bilge PumpsThe boat has two bilge pumps, one in each bilge
area, each controlled by a “mode” switch in the DC Circuit Breaker
panel by the lower helm. There is a breaker here for each of the
pumps, as well as the mode switches.
Each breaker (red arrows), in turn, goes to a switch in the
breaker panel labeled “Manual”, “Off”, or “Auto”, and these
switches (green arrows) should be left in the “Auto” position.
When in “Auto”, the pump is controlled by its float switch.
When set to “Off”, the pump will not run (this position is used
in case the float switch will not turn off when all the water has
been pumped due to a defective float switch.)
When set to “Manual”, the pump is running without regard to the
float switch. This is used by the operator to check the bilges, to
drain water below the range of the float switch, and to bypass the
switch in case it is defective.
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 23
4E: Dinghy, Davit & Outboard
The boat uses its mast and boom to launch the Dinghy. This is
expedited by an electric windlass that serves as the actual hoist.
To use it:
1. Get the remote control from the low cabinet by icemaker in
the salon.2. Plug in the remote control to the receptacle under the
overhang by the
mast above the sundeck;3. Remove the tiedowns on the dinghy;4.
With the hoist cable engaged in the dinghy bridle, hoist the
dingy and swing it over the water while a crew member holds the
dinghy using the dinghy’s bow painter; the bow should now be facing
5. Paying out the hoist cable, have the crew member lead the
dinghy back to the swim step;
6. Ease the cable (windlass out) and unhook the bridle from the
7. Important: Take in the cable and hook the bridle around a
rail so that the hook doesn’t flail around while it is
To bring the dinghy aboard, reverse this process.
The dinghy aboard this boat is an 10’-6” Achilles hard-bottom
For safety, and compliance with U.S. rules, there should be a
life jacket aboard the dinghy for each passenger aboard whenever
the dinghy is at sea.
Please be careful when pulling the dinghy ashore on beaches to
minimize damage and scratches to the bottom. Dragging can be
reduced by two persons if one is on each side. Don’t “Ram” the
beach; you can bump up to the beach gently and step ashore over the
bow, pulling the dinghy a little more ashore as each person
off-loads. Don’t forget to raise the outboard!
4E3: Outboard Motor
The outboard motor for the dinghy is a four-stroke, electric
start Yamaha 15hp outboard. It uses plain fuel. Do not mix oil with
the gasoline supply!
To check the oil, remove the engine cover by operating the latch
at the back of the motor. You will see the dipstick and fill cap on
the starboard side. If oilk is required, it is stored in the
lazarette. Be sure to replace the cover, hooking the front
carefully so the rubber gasket is in place. Re-latch the back of
The motor has an automatic choke.
Outboard Operation:Check the oil before use (see above).
1. Be sure engine is lowered and engine is shift lever is in
“neutral” Clip the red safety lanyard to your clothing and the stop
2. Pump fuel line bulb until it resists your squeeze.3. To start
the motor, press the start button.4. From neutral, push control
lever forward or back to engage gears and twist throttle to control
The davit control socket is forward of the dinghy on the cabin
The dinghy about to be lifted. Note hoisting bridle.
Motor with cover off, stbd side lookin gdown. Arrows point to
fill (above) and dipstick (below).
24 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
4F: Electrical Systems, AC
4F1: AC Generators
The ship’s two Westerbeke generators provide 20,000 watts (“20KW
Generator”) and 8,000 watts (“8KW Generator”) of AC power to the
vessel and are used for battery charging, heating hot water, the
washer/dryer, all air conditioning, and operation of incidental AC
The generators are in the engine room. It is important to check
each generator’s sea strainer (see section 4S1) to be sure they
have not accumulated substantial debris while the generators were
run for extended periods, particularly at anchor.
Generator Selection:Before starting either generator, determine
which you will need. Unless you are using the air conditioning, or
using a combination of the Dryer, and water heater, you most likely
will only need the 8,000 watt generator, #2! (You have a guide to
evaluation of required wattages on page 28 of this manual.)
Starting a Generator:The generator control panels are at the top
of one of the AC control panels. Use them as follows:
1. Press the preheat switch and hold for 15-20 seconds;2. While
holding in the preheat switch, push the start button until the
generator starts (but no longer than fifteen seconds). When it
is started and running (the green light will light), release the
start switch while continuing to hold the preheat switch for an
additional 3 seconds, then release. See warning under “Generator
3. Check the generator exhaust, or listen for it to confirm that
cooling water is being pumped from it.
4. After a brief warmup of a minute or so, set the generator
selector in the AC panel to the correct generator, then switch the
shore power switch in the AC power panel to “Gen”. You should see
the “AC Present” pilot light go on!
Generator Exhausts:Each generator has an exhaust outlet just
above the waterline midships under the aft spray rail. The 20KW
generator exhausts to port, the 8KW to starboard. You will want to
be careful with generator use when you have “rafted” Dream Catcher
to another boat when anchored!
Stopping a Generator:1. Switch the Shore Power switch to “Off”.
This removes the load for the
generator and allows it to cool down.
2. After at least a minute of cool down, press and hold the
lower stop switch down (toward the stop sign) until the generator
comes to a complete stop. Generator Problems:
The generators monitor their own operation, a loss in oil
pressure or any overheating. If either occurs, the generator shuts
itself off, and will not keep running when you try to restart
Before repeated starting, shut off sea water supply to avoid
water- locking the engine! Then, remember to turn it back on when
the generator starts!
Generators: (Above) 20KW. (Below) 8KW.
Westerbeke Control Panels.
20 KW exhaust is on the port side.
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 25
4F2: AC Inverter System
The Inverter Makes AC from DC...As we said, the Inverter system
is used to provide AC to the boat when there is no shore power. It
is wonderful, for example, to use the inverter to make a pot of
coffee when the engine is running and you are underway, or to watch
TV in a quiet anchorage, or use a hair dryer for a few minutes in
the morning. But for long- period use of AC by large appliances,
the engine or generator must be running or you must have shore
Now the microwave, for example, will draw about 50 amps of DC
when using the inverter to run it, so in six minutes you use
one-tenth of an hour at 50 amps, or five ampere- hours. That’s
okay. But what if you want to cook a roast for 30 minutes? You
would use up a lot of energy on that one job alone! That’s too much
use for the inverter, and the propane stove or oven should be
For a short task, the inverter is great: no starting the
generator, no noise, no fuss, the power is there. If the engine are
running, use it all you wish, as long as you don’t try to do two
huge jobs at once: The inverter produces a maximum of 2,500 watts
of energy at a time. So the inverter is only wired to the icemaker,
refrigerator, Webasto furnace circulating pump, AC outlets and the
microwave. It will not run the water heater, battery chargers,
washer or dryer.
...It is also a Battery Charger, Making DC from AC!The Inverter
can also do the reverse: If there is AC power available from a
shore-side source or the generator, it can recharge the house
batteries. The battery charger function receives that power through
the “Inverter Battery Charger” breaker on the AC panel. Since this
breaker must be “On” for the batteries to charge using AC power,
and you will want to charge the batteries at every opportunity, we
suggest that you leave it “On” for the duration of your cruise.
As noted above under the “Connecting Shore Power” section, be
mindful that the Inverter can draw a lot of current when charging
the batteries, especially when first activated upon connection to
shore power. Thus, you need to be careful not to overload a shore
power circuit by running other high-draw AC appliances at the same
time. Monitor the AC Ammeter to make sure the load remains below
the available current as determined by the shore power service from
the marina, normally 30 amps.
Inverter LED Status LightsNote: if LCD backlight is off you will
need to wake up the remote by pressing any button before the status
lights will be active.
“PWR” AC is available at the inverter output (from inverting DC,
shore power or the generator).
“FAULT” will light if the system detects a problem (this is
rare): See the manual.
“CHG” will blink rapidly just after shore power or the generator
comes on, indicating the unit is getting power but is not yet
charging; it will be steady on if the Inverter is charging the
batteries; off if the charger is not on nor is it charging; and
blink slowly if the charger has insufficient AC power to charge the
batteries in which case you will need to reduce the AC load or
start the generator.
“INV” will be “ON” if the inverter is on and supplying power to
AC equipment on the boat; it will blink slowly if the inverter is
on, but there is no equipment drawing power from it; and it will be
off if the inverter is disabled.
If “PWR” and “CHG” are both lit, you will want to monitor the AC
Ammeter by the lower helm and possibly reset the “Shore”
The Inverter, port side of the Engine Room.
Inverter control panel on overhead dash.
26 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
Inverter Control Buttons:(Touch a button to “wake up” the
display before anything will work!)
ON/OFF CHARGER: Controls the charger function of the inverter.
Should be left “On”.
ON/OFF INVERTER: Controls the inverter function. Should be left
“On” for the duration of your cruise. The inverter must be on to
supply power to some systems of the vessel such as the navigation
laptop computer. When you are operating without the engines
running, shore power or the generator you should monitor AC
appliances to ensure that the batteries are not being drained too
FAVS: Pressing this button provides quick access to important
and/or useful features of the inverter. When you first press this
button you will be shown the current State of Charge (SOC) of the
batteries. You can then rotate the SELECT dial to switch to the
Shore Power setting (SHORE), the current DC Amps being drawn from
or added to the batteries (AMP +/-), the total Amp Hours in or out
of the batteries (AH +/-) and the current voltage at the batteries
(VOLTS DC). Just press in on the SELECT dial when the feature you
want to view is shown to make it active.
SOC - State of Charge: The State of Charge is displayed as a
percentage of the charge remaining in the batteries. As the
batteries are depleted through the use of the inverter this
percentage will drop, and as the batteries are recharged by the
charger or the alternators, the percentage will increase.
Dream Catcher is equipped with modern AGM batteries with 740 Amp
Hours of total capacity that have very good deep cycle
characteristics. These batteries will supply power at greater than
12 volts through most of their usable capacity. Like all lead acid
based batteries though, only about half of the 740 Amp Hour
capacity is available for use at any one time before permanent
degradation of the batteries capacity starts to occur. It is very
important that the batteries not be discharged beyond 50% of their
total capacity. You can use the “State of Charge” meter to monitor
the current discharge state of the house batteries.
Before the value falls below 50% you should charge the batteries
by plugging into shore power, starting the generator or running the
Shore Power: Selecting the Shore Power feature will display the
present maximum power the inverter will draw from the boat’s shore
power connection or generator; options are 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and
50 amps. The inverter will monitor the loads on it’s AC output and
will adjust the current available for charging to ensure that the
maximum selected value is not exceeded. Note that the inverter can
only monitor loads that are connected to it so the hot water
heater’s draw (maximum of approximately 10 Amps) will not be
accounted for in this calculation.
You can adjust the Shore Power setting by pressing the SELECT
dial while the Shore Power setting is shown and rotate the SELECT
dial to choose a new value followed by pressing the SELECT dial to
save the new setting. This value is typically set at 30 Amps but if
you were connected to a shore power system that only had a 20 Amp
breaker you would probably want to adjust this value down to 20
Amps for the duration of your time at marina.
Note that the hot water heater is not monitored by this setting.
Typically we recommend keeping the setting the same as the
available shore power (with a maximum of 30 Amps) and carefully
monitoring the early charging of the batteries when you first
arrive. The reason for this is that the hot water will typically
already be at full temperature due to running the engines and by
the time you need to make more hot water the batteries will already
be requiring fewer amps to charge.
Finally, even though the Generator is capable of producing 40
Amps on Dream Catcher, we recommend setting the Shore Power setting
to 30 Amps when using the Generator as this will allow for the
inverter to manage 30 Amps for the AC loads and charging and still
leave 10 Amps available for the hot water heater (typically when
you run the generator you will need both battery charging and to
make hot water).
DC Amps (AMPS +/-): Selecting the DC Amps meter provides reading
of the current number of Amps leaving or returning to the battery.
This display accounts for all current leaving or returning to the
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 27
of the source or destination (for example alternators, the
inverter’s charger, DC systems and Inverter AC loads). This is a
good way to determine if there is a load that will be continuously
drawing on the batteries over a long period of time. For example, a
20 Amp DC continuous load will delete the batteries by 240 Amp
Hours over a 12 hour period (that represents about 32% of the total
battery capacity or 64% of the usable battery capacity on Dream
Catcher). Note that you will often see higher values on this meter
for short term loads like the refrigeration system (which should
cycle off in most cases after 30 - 45 minutes) or the coffee maker.
These loads will deplete battery capacity over a shorter period of
time and will therefore have a smaller effect on the total
available capacity (for example if the refrigeration ran for 30
minutes 4 times every 12 hours at 50 Amps DC the batteries would be
depleted by approximately 100 Amp Hours (13% of the total capacity
or 26% of the usable capacity) every 12 hours.
This meter shows the aggregate of the loads and the charge
currently being returned to the batteries. As a result, if the
batteries are charging (via the main engine alternators or because
you have AC power available) this meter will show the difference
between the loads and the charge being returned to the
AMP HOURS (A/H +/-): Selecting the Amp Hours meter will show you
the absolute number of Amp Hours that have been drawn from the
batteries. This value is another way to look at the State of Charge
of the batteries. When this value is greater than or equal to zero
then the batteries are 100% charged (note that the batteries will
continue to charge even after the total number of Amp Hours removed
from the batteries have been replaced due to the inherent
efficiencies of the chemical process that occurs within the
batteries). Any negative value represents the Amp Hours that have
been removed from the batteries and have not yet been replaced. For
example, if this meter shows -110 Amp Hours then your State of
Charge will be approximately 85% (110 Amp Hours represents
approximately 15% of the 740 total capacity of the batteries).
VOLTS DC: Selecting the Volts DC meter will tell you the current
voltage see at the batteries. Typically this will be above 13.5
volts (and as high as 15 volts) while the batteries are charging.
When the batteries are being used this meter will show voltages
typically between 13 volts and 11.5 volts depending on the state of
discharge of the batteries and the size of the current load on the
batteries. This meter can be useful to determine if the house
batteries are receiving charge voltage (for example from the
alternators) and can also be used to diagnose power related issues.
For example, the furnace on Dream Catcher has a low voltage cut out
that will shut down the furnace to protect it if the supply voltage
drops below 11 volts. In general, the AGM batteries used on Dream
Catcher will provide greater than 11.5 volts until they are very
discharged. However, a large number of large loads can cause a
temporary dip in voltage being supplied. If the batteries are
excessively discharged and large loads (like the refrigeration
and/or microwave oven) are in use you may see short term drops in
voltage that could affect appliances like the furnace.
METER: This button provides access to various meters that show
the current status of the batteries and the inverter. The most
important of these meters have been made available via the FAVS
button and there should be little reason to use the other meters
available via the METER button.
Pressing this button once will display the overall Inverter
status display. This can be useful to determine what mode the
Inverter is currently operating in. The top line of this display
will show one of “Full Charge”, “Bulk Charging”, “Absorb Charging”,
“Float Charging” or “Inverting”. The various “Charge” status
indications show which stage of charge is currently being executed
by the Inverter (Bulk is the most aggressive, highest current
charge state). The “Inverting” status indicates that the charger is
currently providing power to AC appliances connected the Inverter
outputs. The second line of the display shows the DC volts being
produced by the Inverter when it is charging or that are available
at the DC inputs to the Inverter when it is inverting and the
number of Amps being produced (while charging) or consumed (while
inverting) by the Inverter. Note that these values are different
from the DC Volts and DC Amps described above as they are measuring
only what the Inverter is seeing at its inputs and output and does
not account for other charge sources (like the alternators) or
other directly connected DC loads (like lights, bilge pumps
CTRL / SETUP / TECH: Please do not use these functions.
28 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
4F3: AC Breaker Panels
Note: The electric panels must be photographed at an angle
because their surface is so reflective.
The nerve center of the AC electrical system are the AC circuit
control panels by the wheel.
Upper, “Breaker” PanelOn the panel with the circuit breakers,
just as in your home, some of these switches are true “circuit
breakers”: they feed power to somewhere in the boat where there is
another switch which, in turn, turns the item on and off. An
example of this would be the Master Stateroom Lighting circuit
breaker: If the breaker is turned off, the lights won’t work unless
they are turned on with the switches in the stateroom.
But some of the other breakers are the only switch for the item.
An example of this would be the McCarron Charger breaker: It’s
circuit breaker is
the only controlling power switch.
On the next page is the list of the breakers how they’re used.
Because a 50-amp cable has two “hot” leads, there is a column
telling which of these, circuit #1 or circuit #2, powers the
Lower, Generator/Switch PanelThis panel has the controls for
each generator. In addition, there are
• A Reverse Polarity Indicator• Hour Meters for the generators;•
Pilot Lights to show that power is on the two circuits;• A Metering
Selector Switch to determine which of the two
circuits the AC voltmeter and ammeter (see next page) is
• The Power Selection Switches for the boat’s supply.
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 29
“B”=Used as breaker “S”=Used as switch AND breaker ”*”=Also
powered by the Inverter
TOP AC PANEL (PANEL TO RIGHT OF LOWER HELM WHEEL)
Breaker Use Breaker Use
Left Side of Panel Right Side of PanelCircuit 1 Master 1 B
Breaker for this entire side Circuit 2 Master 2 S Beaker for this
Fwd Cabin Aircon 1 S To compressor for forward cabin Aircon Pump
2 S Turns on AC water pump.Must be on when using AC.
Aft Cabin Aircon 1 S To compressor for aft cabin
(Spare) 1 Saloon Fwd Aircon 2 S To compressor for fwd salon
Washer 1 B To clothes washer Saloon Aft Aircon 2 S To compressor
for aft salon
Dryer 1 B To clothes dryer Engine Room Fan 2 S Turns on cooling
Start & gen charge 1 S To Newmar charger E/R & F/B
Outlets* 2 B To E/R & F/B Outlets
Inverter 1 B To inverter (see4.8) Water Heater 2 S To hot water
Port Outlets* 1 S To outlets port side of boat Utility Room
Outlet* 2 B To outlet in utility room
Icemaker* 1 B To icemaker outlet Microwave* 2 B To microwave
McCarron Charger 1 S To McCarron charger Starboard Outlets* 2 B
To outlets stbd side of boat
Refer* 2 B To refrigeration thermostats
Pilot LightWater Heater On If Lit: Water Heater is on
Green = Always leave on Blue = Leave on when Aboard Yellow = Use
only when Needed
4F4: AC Metering
Just forward of the starboard salon door is an analog AC
Voltmeter and a digital AC ammeter. These measure the voltage and
current being used by the boat from either of the two power
circuits, depending upon the meter selector switch in the AC panel
illustrated on page 4.10..
In the photo, with the “Ammeter/Voltmeter” switch set to 1, we
have a reading of 119 volts, and it is drawing 11 amps of current.
To read the voltage and load on the other circuit, we would throw
the switch to “2”. When you are checking voltage and current,
remember to check both sides! Currents should not exceed the
amperage of the shore outlet or the source.
A warning light has been added below the ammeter showing the
status of the automatic engine room extinguisher.
The AC Voltmeter and ammeter. The fire extinguisher status
has been added below the ammeter.
30 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
4F5: AC Power Selector Switches
The lower AC panel to the right of the lower helm wall has three
“GENERATORS SELECTOR”This switch determines which generator is
supplying power, if any... “AC POWER SELECTOR”
This switch determines whether (1) the generator selected by the
“Generators Selector” is supplying the boat, or (2) the shore power
inlet selected by the “Shore Power Selector is supplying the
“SHORE POWER SELECTOR”This switch determines which Shore Power
receptacle is supplying power, if any.
4F6: AC Reverse Polarity Indicator
Although we tend to think of AC Electricity as having only two
conductors, it actually has three. One of these is called
“neutral”; one is “hot”; and one is “ground”, that is, it is
supposed to be the same as the water around the boat and the earth
ashore. The vessel and many of its appliances rely upon these
connections having the correct “polarity”, or relationship to one
another and the earth; this is essential to be sure that users of
AC equipment do not get a shock when touching and AC equipment.
Now in a house ashore, it’s easy: We don’t “plug in” the house,
for it stays connected to the utility company all the time! But in
a boat when in the harbor, we do plug in using our Shore Power
cords (and sometimes using extension cords). If the outlet to which
we plug our cord or if the cord itself is mis-wired, then these
connections can become mixed up, and there is a significant chance
of getting a shock or a chance that running gear outside the boat
will be subject to corrosion because the boat, immersed in sea
water, a good conductor of electricity.
To protect the vessel and its crew from such contingencies, a
“Reverse Polarity Warning” light on the lower Generator Control
Switch Panel will illuminate when the connection turned on.
If any “Reverse Polarity” light should illuminate when
connecting to Shore Power, immediately disconnect the cable and
contact the harbor master advising him/her of the problem. Do not
risk shock or system damage!
The “Push to Test” button should light the “reversed polarity
Bulb” to test it.
4F7: AC Shore Power, Disconnecting & Connecting
The large selector switches on the AC metering panel are used to
determine the source of AC power for the boat (see above). At least
one of these switches should be “OFF” whenever you are connecting
or disconnecting the boat to shore. This is true so that you do not
draw an arc from the plug due to the load of the boat on the
connector’s pins: such an arc will burn the contacts and eventually
cause them to overheat when in use, creating a fire hazard.
Once connected to shore power, monitor the AC voltmeter and
ammeter — both circuits — to be sure you have not overloaded the
Important Note: If the house batteries are low when you first
hook up to shore power, and the inverter is turned on (as it should
be), the inverter will begin charging its batteries at a very high
charging rate, drawing a lot of shore power current. Until this
demand reduces (see “The Inverter System” below), you should turn
“OFF” other high-current AC appliances such as the water
You can then turn on AC appliances as needed. Watch the ammeter
to be sure you don’t exceed the dock’s available supply, typically
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 31
Here are some estimates of AC power consumption for typical
Water Heater 15 amps Inverter up to 22 amps
Hair Dryer 12 amps TV 1.5 amps
Coffee maker 10 amps Microwave 12 amps
Toaster 12 amps Air Conditioning up to 40 amps
4G: Electrical Systems, DC
4G1: DC Concepts
Each year it seems more folks are confused by the operation of
electrical systems on yachts than by any other subject! Don’t feel
discouraged if something isn’t clear: you’ve got company in your
confusion. So let’s try to cover some theory here first.
Most of the equipment on any boat is run by 12-volt DC
electricity from the boat’s batteries. This is true because DC
should always be available: we have batteries aboard even when
there is no shore power! If the batteries aren’t run down,
everything should work, just like in the family car.
Since the batteries are used so much, we have to replenish, or
charge them. The most important way we do this is by alternators on
the ship’s engine. In most cases one engine will provide enough
electricity in most every case to run everything, and still have
some energy left over to add back to the battery, that is, to
Ah, but what if the engine isn’t running? Then, the batteries
are slowly depleted until they have “run down” and there is no more
electricity stored in them . . . a big problem, because then we not
only can’t run all the neat stuff on the boat, we can’t start an
engine to get more electricity.
So a good skipper and crew has “electrical power management” in
mind whenever they turn an electrical gadget on or off!
It is with this concern that we can cite a reality: If we need
more electricity than the batteries alone must provide, and if the
propulsion engines aren’t running, we will need to get our
electrical power from an alternative source! That’s the most
important reason why we plug the boat in to shore power or use a
generator: To keep from running down the batteries. For by using
battery chargers getting their power from shore power or the
generator, we can keep the batteries charged, or, at least, from
getting too low.
In modern, luxury cruising boats, however, there is another
important factor: Some of the “goodies” we like to have on board
such as hair dryers and microwave ovens require ordinary household
electricity. This is 110-120 volts AC. It is different from DC. So
if we want to use these things when we’re not at a dock, we must
have another way to get 110-120 volts AC, and for this we use a
generator or an inverter, the latter an amazing high tech gadget
that takes 12 volts DC from the ship’s batteries and makes it into
110 volts AC!
So here’s what we’ve got:
• A lot of stuff running on 12 volts DC with that electricity
from the batteries;• To keep the batteries from running down, we
have alternators run by the engine, and battery chargers that
their power from shore power or the generator;• For the stuff
that runs on 110-120 volts AC, we have shore power, the generator,
or, for making 110-120 volts AC
out of DC from the batteries, the inverter.
32 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
4G2: DC Batteries
The batteries on this boat are not just one, big all-purpose
battery. To have redundancy, there are actually several “banks” of
batteries assigned different tasks.
A “starting bank” is used for starting engines. This battery is
charged by the engine alternator when running, or by the McCarron
battery charger if it is on when there is shore power or a
generator is running.
Another “house bank” consists of deep cycle batteries wired in
parallel. These batteries are charged by the engine alternators and
by the Inverter when AC power is present from shore power or a
In the event of a low engine-starting bank, the operator can (1)
start a generator which can then run the chargers or (2) operate
the battery-parallel switch (see below).
Note: If it takes more than two attempts to start any engine,
turn off its sea water valve to avoid water-locking the engine
until it starts. Then be sure to immediately turn it back on after
the engine is started!
Two more smaller batteries start each generator. Each of these
is charged by the generator to which it is connected, and by the
4G3: DC Battery Chargers
The vessel is equipped with two 12-volt battery chargers. One of
these, a Newmar unit, charges the two genset batteries. The other,
McCarron charger, charges the starting battery.
The Inverter is also a 12-volt charger. It charges the house
The chargers are switched on by breakers in the 120-volt circuit
Only the Inverter charger is normally used! Note: The Inverter
is primarily used for house battery charging; see discussion about
the inverter below!
The E/R boxes holding some of the batteries are visible in this
to port of the port engine.
Notice the batteries in each lower corner of the 20kw generator
area: These are
the starting batteries for each generator.
Red arrow points to McCarron charger; yellow arrow points to
the Trace Inverter.
Newmar charger in starboard side of engine room.
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 33
4G4: DC Battery “On-Off” Switch
This switch is the DC circuit master switch for the house
service. It should be left “on” at all times unless there is a fire
or short circuit, and you wish to cut off electric power to all DC
voltage except the starting circuits.
4G5: DC Circuit Breaker Panels
The nerve center of the DC electrical system is the DC circuit
breaker panels just right of the lower helm. On these panel are the
switches that control power to the boat’s various systems.
As for the breaker panel itself, just as in your home, most of
these switches are true “circuit breakers”: they feed power to
somewhere in the boat where there is another switch which, in turn,
item on and off. An example of this would be the circuit
breakers for the horn and electric head. If the breaker
is turned on, the horn won’t work unless you push the horn
button, and the head won’t flush unless you are there in the head
compartment to operate it!
But some of the other breakers also serve as the switch for the
item. An example of this would be the navigation light breaker or
the macerator pump
breaker. So here is the list of switches and how they’re used:
(“B” means used as breaker, “S” means used as switch AND
34 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
The colors in the descriptions below mean:Green = Leave this
breaker on Always
Blue = Leave on Always when AboardYellow = Use when Item is
NeededRed = Use with Caution in Exceptional Circumstances
DC UPPER (MAIN) BREAKER PANEL:
DC UPPER PANEL PANEL (TO LEFT OF SALON DOOR)
BREAKER USE BREAKER USE
LEFT COLUMN CENTER RIGHT COLUMNPort Engine S Powers port engine
& its instruments Starting Port & Starboard S Press to
start the engine
Engine Vent S Turns on port engine room blower Stopping Port
& Starboard S Press to sto eng. (SOL must be ON)
Stbd Engine S Powers stbd engine & its instruments Bilge
Pump Mode Sws. S Control B.P. mode
Engine Vent S Powers stbd engine room blower RIGHT COLUMN
Stop Sol B Powers stop buttons to stop engines Aft Bilge Pump B
Power to mode & float switch
Fwd Bilge Pump B Power to mode & float switch Horn B To horn
Instrument Lights S Turns on instrument lights Wiper B To wiper
switches above helm
Navigation Lights S Turns on navigation lights Stereo B To
Anchor Light S Turns on anchor light F. W. Pump B To fresh water
pump pressure switch
Spreader Light S Turns on spreader light Drain Pump B To dram
pump sws. showers & sink
Fwd Cabin Lights B To forward cabin light switches Galley Vent B
To galley vent switch
Saloon Lights B To salon light switches Gas Stove B To propane
solenoid sw. over stove
Aft Cabin Lights B To aft cabin light switches Head Vent B To
aft head vent switch
Port Engine Rm Lights S Turns on port engine room lights Fwd
Electric Head B To forward head toggle switch
Stbd Engine Rm. Lights S Turns on stbd engine room lights Aft
Electric Heaf B To aft head toggle switch
Hailer B To hailer power switch
DC LOWER PANEL - ONE ROW OF BREAKERS ONLY (PANEL TO LEFT OF
SALON DOOR)Fwd Macerator Pump S Pumps out port holding tank Gen
Blower S Turns on vents in gen compartment
Aft Macerator Pump S Pumps out aft holding tank Radar B To F/B
Auto Pilot B To F/B autopilot control Deck Wash Pump B To salt
water pump pressure switch
Flyb. GPS B To flybridge GPS unit Air Compressor S Turns on air
VHF Radio B To VHF radios Strobe S Turns on strobe light
Depth Finder B To Datamarine sounder/log
Electronics B To Furuno system
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 35
4G6: DC Voltmeter
In the DC Breaker Panel is a voltmeter with a battery selector
When the photo was taken, the switch was in the “house”
position, and the meter showed 13.2 volts.
As the scale indicates, around 11.0 volts (red) is considered
12.8 volts (100%) is a fully-charged, unused battery;
13.2 volts is a battery getting a “float” charge to keep it
14.2 volts is a battery being “bulk” charged.
The switch positions are:
1 = The House Battery Bank2 = The Starting Bank3 = 20KW
Generator Starting Battery4 = 8KW Generator Starting Battery
4H: ElectronicsThe boat is equipped with extensive electronic
equipment, including VHF radios, Radars, GPS, Plotter; Depth
Sounder; Speed Log; Autopilot; and Navigation Computer.
Each unit is provided with a dedicated or shared circuit breaker
in the DC power panel; this breaker must be on for the unit to be
used. Then the unit’s own power button must have been depressed or
its knob must be also be in the “ON” mode. (The computer runs on
110- volt AC from shore power or the inverter.)
4H1: Electronics: Autopilot
The boat is equipped with a Robertson-Simrad AP100DL Autopilot
System including a control console at each helm.
For the unit to operate, be sure the breaker is on in the Power
Basic operation is simple:
COMP Turns the system on. When on, the display will show the
pilot’s status, and the current rudder position port or
PWR ST. Allows the Autopilot to be used as a power steering
control. Seldom used.AUTO Engages the autopilot. It will hold the
heading it was on when engaged.NAV Not connected.RUDDER Allows the
operator to set the pilot’s sensitivity; adjust to suit the
This is normally set to “High-Position 3”.COURSE When in the
AUTO mode, turn to change course.Port/Stbd When in AUTO mode, press
to correct course by a degree in either direction. To Dodge, (1)
hold the dodge button, then (2) press port or starboard to
swerve in that direction. (3) When past the obstacle, release
36 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
To use the remote control at the lower helm, the flybridge A/P
control must be set first to “COMP”.
Maintain a careful lookout when using the autopilot! It is an
aid to comfortable cruising, not a replacement for an aware
helmsperson! Remember, you can disengage it quickly simply by
switching to “COMP”.
4H2: Electronics: Depth Sounder & Knotmeter/Log -
There is a Datamarine digital depth sounder and speed log system
on the flybridge, with repeaters at the lower helm, showing depth
BELOW THE KEEL and speed in knots, trip mileage in nautical miles,
etc. Operation of this system is described in its operating manual,
but it is quite simple and intuitive.
They are turned on by the breaker in the DC power panel.
Because our waters are sometimes very deep, the depth sounders
will not display or will stay on a high depth reading when the
water’s depth is beyond its capacity.
Remember when backing up, or crossing a “tide line”, that
turbulent water from the tides or boat’s screws (or those of
another boat) can interrupt the sounding information received by
the unit. Be careful!
Note that our Northwest waters are rocky and depths change
rapidly. You should be especially careful to study your charts, and
then check them often whenever running in depths of 50 feet or
less, so that you don’t hit a rock! Just as our islands “pop up” to
heights of 50, 100, or even thousands of feet in a very small
horizontal distance, so do rocky obstacles!
4H3: Electronics: Depth Sounder - Furuno FCV-620 Fishfinders
This unit is at the lower helm; a duplicate is at the upper
helm. Operation is simple, with full details in the operating
Lower helm A/P Remote Control.
Datamarine Dart System on F/B.
At lower helm: Sounder & Speed Log.
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 37
4H4: Electronics: GPS Receivers
Dream Catcher has two Furuno GPS receivers, one at each helm.
See the manuals for operating details.
4H5: Electronics: Hailer
The boat is equipped with a loudhailer at the flybridge for
communicating with the shore. It also can be used to talk from the
helm to the flybridge. It operates conventionally, but is seldom
used. It also has foghorn and bell modes for lying at anchor or
operating in fog. This manual is stored on the laptop:
4H6: Electronics: Plotters/Electronic Charting Systems
Computer System:The boat is equipped with Coastal Explorer
plotting software which runs on a laptop computer at the lower
helm. It will always make your location easily identifiable.
The software runs in Microsoft Windows. When turned “on”, the
computer will “boot”. After it boots, double-click the icon to
start the navigation program.
Furuno NavNet System:At both helms, the boat’s Furuno NavNet
System allows map display and course plotting. This modern system
will make your trip easier. See the manuals for full details.
THESE ELECTRONIC CHARTING SYSTEMS ARE NOT SUBSTITUTES FOR
CAREFUL STUDY OF TRADITIONAL PAPER CHARTS. You are required by
maritime law to use your paper charts for navigation information,
since electronic chart technology does not always permit full
cartographic details to show. The Electronic charts are for
If you are not completely familiar with the Coastal Explorer
System, please operate the system with care, reading the manual
before you make any changes to any settings! Thank you.
4H7: Electronics: Stereo
In the salon in the aft cabinet by the settee “L” is a Pioneer
Stereo AM/FM receiver, with an iPod connection in the adjacent top
drawer. This is like an automobile unit. The “Front/Rear” speaker
control (fader) shifts the sound among the boat’s speakers as noted
on the placard.
38 | DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL NW Explorations
4H8: Electronics: Radar & AIS
The boat is equipped with two radar sets, one at each the
flybridge and the lower helm. These units are used, combined with
the electronic chart unit, for operation in restricted visibility,
with the radar primarily serving as a device for collision
avoidance while the chart unit provides position.
Proper and safe use of a ship’s radar requires lots of practice
and careful study. While you are using the boat, you can have the
radar on as much as you like to get used to the way it displays
images, but for detailed operating instructions we refer you to the
radar’s own complete manual.
4H9: Electronics: TV/DVD/CD System
The boat has a DVD/CD player and TV, a large flat-screen unit.
They operate conventionally.
4H10: Electronics: VHF Radios (Fixed/Handheld)
There are fixed ICOM VHF radios at each helm station, with the
mikes nearby. The radios are designed for easy access to Channel 16
which is the hailing and emergency channel in the Northwest. In
addition, the ICOM units use Digital Selective Calling for
emergency communications. The two portable units operate
conventionally. Detailed instructions are in their manuals.
4J: Engine & Transmissions
4J1: General Discussion
The main engines on the boat are Caterpillar
3208-T Diesels producing a maximum of 320 horsepower each. These
extraordinarily-reliable, rugged machines are top-of-the-line, and
can be expected to give you trouble-free, economical cruising.
Each engine is controlled at the lower helm DC Panel with a stop
breaker (common to both engines), its own power breaker, and its
start and stop buttons; the engine’s instruments are on the helm
panels at both helms.
On engine start, no long warm-up is required! Three or four
minutes is sufficient at idle, then load the engine by putting its
transmission in gear.
Do not run it over 1400 RPM until the temperature gauge reads at
least 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not run the engine for long periods with the transmission in
neutral, with no load!
The lower helm radar set.
A big radar hinges out under the flybridge console.
One of the Icom UHF radios.
Port engine. Oil dipstick (blue arrow) and oil fill (red
NW Explorations DREAM CATCHER OPERATING MANUAL | 39
4J2: Checking the Engine
The engines require a regular, daily check, since once underway,
you will probably not check them while in use, tucked away as they
are in the engine room. Please perform this check each morning
(when the engine room is cool!):
Check the OilThe oil level should be between the two marks on
the dipstick located on the inboard forward side of each engine.
The stick “pulls out” upward. Use a paper towel from the roll
provided, wipe the stick, reinsert, and take reading; since the